Posts Tagged ‘cycling’

bolt

I have made the switch from Garmin to Wahoo.  I waited awhile to move to the Elemnt because I wanted all the bugs to be worked out and I was waiting for workouts to be released.  All I can say is Wow.  I love it.  Set up is super easy and straight forward using the mobile app.  Workouts go straight in from training peaks, routes are imported from ridewithgps and I can get messages or see who is calling during a ride so I know if I want to stop and answer or keep on going.  The Garmin has served me well for 7 years without any issues but this was a big step up from my previous Garmin 800.  I know most of this isn’t groundbreaking but it was big for me to get with the times.

A few of the pages I use on a weekly basis are the following.

General

This is my day to day page with my information for an easy ride or when I’m out with friends.  I have the time of day, speed, 3 second power, heart rate, cadence, miles ridden, gear selection, time riding, and my phone battery.

Race

This is my race page where I only have necessary information.  I have my 3 second power, heart rate, lap time so I know how much time is generally left in the race since I have been racing mostly timed critiriums, and gear selection since my brain is’t all there sometimes and it helps me prevent cross chaining.

Workout Summary

I use the workout summary screen just to take a quick peek on a few key metrics of what I have done if I wasn’t doing a structured workout.  This page I have 3 second power, speed, miles ridden, ride time, time of day, heart rate, average speed, training stress score, and average power.  This allows me to see whats happening now and what my averages for the ride are at the same time.

Workout

I use this page most of the time when doing structured workouts imported from Training Peaks.  This page gives me everything I need to know to complete my workout.  I have my target power with my 3 second average next to it to compare. Next is the time left in the interval with my interval average power to see how close I am to the target.  Then heart rate, my last interval power in case I didn’t see if I hit my previous target, time left in the workout (how much suffering is left), gear selection and a chart of what the overall workout looks like.

Conclusions

Live tracking works great for me as I train solo most of the time and it gives me piece of mind that my family knows where I am in case something happens or they can figure out how far from home I am but it does drain my phone battery pretty quickly.

The only feature missing from the unit is an  auto lap feature based on GPS location so I wouldn’t have to try to hit the lap button in races or separate laps on the computer to analyse lap by lap performance which I hope gets added with a firmware update in the future.

In my opinion the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt is a great value and a great unit.  I wouldn’t hesitate recommending it to anyone.

For a more in depth review check out DC Rainmaker or Shane Miller as they go a lot more in depth than me.  They had influenced my purchase of the unit a lot especially since I was moving from the Garmin camp to Wahoo.

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I got started Crit racing this year. It was intimidating at first with high speed cornering, large tight packs and crashes.

The season started off very cold in early April with the Branchbrook series in Newark, NJ. The series got off to a rocky start with cancelled races due to high winds, ice and snow. When we did race the average temperature was 25-35 degrees. I would head over at 5 am to pick up my number each week as the Cat 5 race would start around 6, do a few warm up laps to not freeze then freeze anyway when waiting at the start line.

The whistle blew and we are off. The races started off at a very manageable pace as everyone was just trying to get warm but I alway was hanging towards the back because the pack felt so tight and I was super worried about getting hung up or touching wheels.  Yeah and I thought my fitness was good.  I made it a few laps with then would see them gradually drift away from me.  The repeated hard acclererations out of the corners wore me down and I just couldn’t keep up.  Eventually the field passed me and I was in a solo TT just trying to finish.

As the weeks went on I got more comfortable with the group and fitness improved and was able to finish with the pack and even put in an attack throughout the season.  It was a great learning experience about pack dynamics and staying calm and smooth.  This year I was able to advance to Cat 4 and now I’m looking forward to next year to keep on learning and training to get some results that I am happy with.

A couple takeaways are:

  • Get to the race early so you aren’t in a rush
  • Ask what side to pin your number on
  • Preride the course – with someone who has done it before if possible
  • Don’t run a 5k the day before a race – it ruins you
  • Float within the group and look for good wheels to follow
  • Trust your bike when cornering
  • Easy on the brakes or just sit up to slow you down
  • Have Fun – it will keep you loose – even if you are nervous at the start

Zwift Logo

After using Zwift for a few weeks I can say I am still impressed. For the first 2 weeks I used Zwift with a Heart Rate, Speed Sensor and Cyclops Fluid 2 Trainer. In this time the only frustration I would have are during sprints the software would detect wheel slippage and I would lose 2 seconds for everything to come back as it wouldn’t register power for that time.

ea386e94-62b9-49db-b9e3-e986bfd20b9eThe solution came when a year of saving up payed off.

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I got my Stages Power Meter!

Now the tire slippage doesn’t matter anymore.  Zwift is reading directly from the power meter.  I didn’t buy the Stages power meter for zwift.  This was planned for over a year.  I am very happy with it for the 2 weeks I have had the power meter indoors as well as outdoors.  This has definitely taken away my frustrations with Zwift.

So far in Zwift I have racked up a few achievements and new gear.  The Facebook group Zwift Riders is the place to be for discussions.  Zwift changes the dynamic of riding indoors for me so much that I even run it when I am doing a trainer video and over lay the video on the left side of the screen.

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Since the Gran Fondo I took some time off and started riding a once a week group ride.  I feel like a slacker compared to the training I was doing.  Now to change gears.

I am just enjoying the bike right now ith 4-5 group rides a week.  I run one 4 days a week in the early morning and it is a great start to the day.  My next big event is not until September so Im just going to have fun until August then start the heavy training again.

In the meantime I have a friend that just got his first road bike and will be helping him out.  I will be more of a social rider for now.  I think it is good for the family and y mind at the time so ENJOY YOUR BIKE!

Be safe out there


The event was amazing from start to finish!
Friday I went to NYC to the bike expo to pick up my packet. It couldn’t have been more convenient being directly across from Penn Station. While waiting for it to open we had some nice friendly chatter on line talking about everything from weather, food, training,bikes, and expectations of the event. I got inside and was wowed (is that even a word?). They were so organized! You find your name on the board to get your number. Then you go to the table to pick up your packet by giving your number as they check your ID. Next off to the Jerseys. You show your packet and it is there for you. Then the same for the goodie bag. The bags were very nice duffel bags in all their Gran Fondo glory with some nice goodies inside including a bottle of wine. I signed in on the board to make it official. It felt awesome knowing that there would be thousands of other names up there with mine.

Next to the vendors.

There were vendor from manufactures to retailers to even a bed company.  I enjoyed spending some time at Mavic checking out their helmets.  I found that after looking at all the manufactures of helmets that day the Mavic Plasma will be my next one.  It fit perfect and was very comfortable.  Got to see som cool stuff like the new Campy Electronic shifting too.  The tour companies were very tempting.  How wouldn’t it be to be wine and dined on a cycling trip in Italy.  I picked up a few treats including some tasty baked goods, Some GFNY Merch: a hat and socks, and a pair of compression socks.  Then I set off home very excited for Sunday.

The Gran Fondo is Here!

Sunday morning we left at 4:30.  Crazy Early I know.  We needed to be on the bridge by 6:15 to play it safe.  We parked in Fort Lee wich turned out being a 5 mi ride to the start.  We got are bikes prepped in the lot and already I had a flat!  What kind of day is this going to be?  Changed the tube.  Set out and BOOM the bead popped off blowing that tube.  I borrowed a tube from my buddy Dino and double checked everything this time and was good to go.  We got to the start with no problem and had a little time to spare.  Good thing we left early!

The Start

They had us in corrals of 500.  It worked out perfect and everyone was excited.  There were some announcements, the National anthem and then….

Ready

Set

Go!

The Ride was awesome!  The climbs were challenging and I know they pushed me.  I feel I could have pushed a little harder on Bear Mountain but I was concerned about blowing up before the other two timed climbs.  We even skipped a rest stop and went to our own for a slice of pizza.  The hill right after I call Colle Pizza.  We had a nice paceline going with my group and had some fun with that.

Now for the Video!

It was a great day and it was nice that my family came to the finish.  We had some pasta and I got a bucket of bike cleaning products and lubricants from Finish Line.  We took some pictures and enjoyed the music.

I would like to thank

  • GFNY for putting on such a great event
  • Graeme Street from Cyclocore for the great training program
  • Grimauldo from Legends Bikes for setting me up when my frame failed and got me back up in 3 days
  • Most of all I would like to thank my family for their support and patience throughout the training time

Here is a short video update right after the last one.  As you can see it was extremly tough!

 

Yesterday was great! We were set to roll out for a 85mi group ride to the top of Bear Mountain and all of a sudden I heard a loud pop. Guess what. It was my tire! Nelson the owner of strictly bicycles called to me,”give me your wheel and a tube”. I ran in and bought an extra tube for the ride. I got out and he handed me the wheel. I couldn’t believe how fast he changed the tube. The group rolled off so I had to catch up. Luckily I did. I was pushing 25 mph just starting off. I was worried about burning a match right at the beginning. But I was fine for the ride. We rode about 37 mi and came to the road for the beast. (Bear Mountain) I stayed in a low gear and spun most of the way up. Just toward the top I had to stand up as the gradient got in the double digits. I expected it to be a lot worse and felt good when I got to the top. The ride back was good but I got into talking with another rider and we got dropped. What came next was an all out effort to catch the lead group. It took a few miles to catch them but we stopped at a cafe and had an amazing espresso.

The Ride on Strava

This ride was my test for fueling for the Gran Fondo. My fueling was powered by “The Feed Zone” cookbook. I started with Biju’s oatmeal in the morning and a rice cake when I got to the ride. Each stop I had a rice cake and drank skratch exceed use drink on the bike. Nothing was overly sweet and my energy was great overall. As long as I have time to prepare the rice cakes in the future that will be my fueling strategy.
Everything was easy to prepare and great tasting. For dinner I made the roasted chicken with vegetables and rustic pepper and tomato soup.

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Tonight for dinner I used the roasted chicken and made burritos out of it by making the salsa and adding cumin and chilli powder to the chicken. Yum. Then dessert. Chocolate bread pudding topped with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream.

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